Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Tuesday, August 14, 2018

SG comptroller appeals decision to keep candidate Johnson off election ballot

The Student Government Judicial Board heard an appeal by Joe Ste.Marie to bar SG comptroller candidate, Ben Johnson, from the ballot on March 30. The Board ruled on March 31 ruled that Johnson can remain on the ballot.

The BOE previously ruled to allow Johnson on the ballot, even though he had not attended a mandatory information session about campaigning, according to Board of Elections Chair Douglas Bell.

Inclement weather on March 6 closed the University, which cancelled the information session Johnson had planned to attend, Johnson said.

“There were not three public info sessions,” Bell said. “And there was not a public posting saying that candidates had to reschedule [a private session].”

Ste.Marie’s case centered on the possibility that allowing the BOE extra powers in this case might open a precedent that would give it too much influence down the road.

“This could open the floodgates for the BOE in future elections,” Ste.Marie said.

Election protocol allows for the BOE to grant exceptions only in the case of deadlines for official forms, Ste.Marie said. Thus, exempting Johnson from a mandatory session was not within the rules, Ste.Marie added.

“The BOE cannot hold one candidate to one set of rules and hold another candidate to another set of rules,” Ste.Marie said. Ste.Marie is currently running for re-election.

Bell, however, argued that the changes in the BOE this election cycle created circumstances out of the ordinary.

After the hearing, Johnson and other members of his campaign expressed frustration over the election process.

“The rules were unclear,” Johnson said. “I would play by the rules if they were understandable.”

cjohnson@theeagleonline.com


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